As we enter the New Year, many businesses face the task of starting to let go some of those seasonal folks who were hired on to fill their scheduling needs during the busy holidays. Were you one of those businesses that brought new hires on board? How well do you know those people? Did you have the time to run background checks on your seasonal and temporary hires? These are a few things to think about as you make those critical decisions on who stays and who should go. You may be wondering why this is important if Mary Sue or Billy Bob did a great job for you during the holiday rush. My response to you is to consider how well you really know these individuals. Remember, if you keep them on staff, what may they be doing for you and what impact could they have on your business if they are not who you thought they were when you hired them.
Even the best Human Resources Managers can be fooled by someone who knows how to say the right things and how to present themselves in an interview. Many of us want to think the best of someone and a good story can charm us, even if we have that “gut feeling” something isn’t quite right. Background checks run before a hiring decision is made can save you a lot of headaches in the future. A Background check company can verify educational information on your candidate if you have education requirements for a position. They can conduct credit checks for you (do you want to hire a cashier who may be in debt to credit card companies?). Employers have to have I-9 verification; a background check company can trace social security numbers to validate identity. Perhaps your business requires vehicle deliveries, an applicant’s driver history can be checked for citations, revocations and suspensions. A solid pre-employment screening will ensure you are not being sold a fake bill of goods.
SO! Why am I so concerned about Mary Sue and Billy Bob, they worked hard, they showed up for all their shifts, they gave really great customer service at the register or on the sales floor? First, it was the holiday season, YOU as the store owner or manager were very busy, did you REALLY get to see them in action or were these cursory observations you made? Who were those people that were receiving the super customer service treatment? It could be they were friends of Mary or Billy and they received good customer service because they were getting really “good” deals at the register. A pre-employment screening may have revealed that they had been released from a number of other retail jobs or had criminal histories involving theft. Sometimes dishonest employees will behave for a time in order to build your trust, and establish themselves until seasonal staff have been let go and they are remaining. They may be looking for the long-term theft that they can get away with over the next few years.
You also need to think about inventory control. Once a person remains on after the holidays they have probably earned your trust and will start to have more responsibility or access to higher risk inventory. For example, someone may start off as a customer service clerk and after the seasonal hires have been let go, this person remains on staff. They show they are a hard worker and you move them to your electronics department. Now they have keys to your showcases, or your stockroom if you lock up your electronics. You forget they never went through a background check when they were hired. Who is this person to whom you have entrusted such a high risk area? Who is that cashier that you are now considering to work in your cash office?
Don’t allow your company to take unnecessary employment risks, look into what a background check company can do to protect your interests. Pre-employment screenings are the preference but even if you have already made hiring decisions, a background check may not be too late. If an employee has been found to have lied on an application through a background check, you may still have the ability to take action. Hire the best and don’t settle for less, see what background checks can do for you.
For more information on background checks contact us or call 1.770.426.0547